Human Resources and Payroll Software

PaySail: A payroll and tax filing app for Ghana

Launched in 2013, PaySail provides an easy method for accounting departments and businesses in Ghana to run employees’ payroll, filing taxes and social security as well as pay employees through their bank accounts or mobile wallets. With a simple and easy-to-use online design platform, the startup ensures that the payroll process is automated in all aspects.

“By coming up with an exceptionally simple way for businesses to run their payroll, remit payments to their employees and file taxes, we are giving local businesses a better payroll experience,” Precious Nyarko, the startup CEO and one of the three co-founders, explains to IDG Connect.

With experience in designing user interaction for scalable web and mobile apps and an accountant by profession, Nyarko teamed up with Samuel Ako (programming) and Osborn Adu-Kwarteng (business development) to scoop the second position at Seedstars Accra, as well as becoming one of the DEMO Africa Lions in 2014.

“Our first step to success was to raise seed-funding from the Meltwater Foundation. It is usually difficult for businesses and startups in Ghana to raise seed-funding of any amount of money,” says Nyarko.

PaySail is not unique. A number of similar startups have emerged in Africa, especially South Africa, with the hope of solving the payroll processes for businesses across the continent. However, what makes Paysail different is it incorporates mobile wallets - this is important as research from July 2014 suggests 99% of phones in Ghana are mobile [PDF] - in addition to using automatic tax rates, which saves time.

Currently only available in Ghana, “a computer with an internet connection is all what you need [to make this work],” explains Nyarko. “When you are on the move, you can access the platform on your tablet or smartphone. PaySail is a fully-managed web service. We do not have plans to make any downloadable versions,” he adds.

With more than 60 businesses using its services across Ghana, the startup is processing payroll for over 500 employees a month, at present. Plans are also underway to spread its wings to other African countries the first of which are going to be Kenya and Nigeria.

However, like all other startups in Africa, PaySail has faced difficulties. “One of the greatest challenges facing Africa and the local startup scene is convincing entrepreneurs and businesses to change to a new product, platform or solution,” says Nyarko.

“For Paysail in particular, the issue has been to convince local entrepreneurs and businesses to change from their traditional methods to a cloud-based payroll process. Our idea and concept is new and for businesses to entirely break through to the local market scene, it is going to take a lot of support measures and education to help them get comfortable and convinced about our platform.”  

“It is electrifying to note how much entrepreneurial and innovative activities are being experienced in Africa in the last several years. Many young professionals are today aspiring for innovative tech and entrepreneurship than ever before.”

“We are still in the early hours though and that as more incubators [Paysail incubated at MEST] and sources of financing and mentorship become available, there ought to be remarkable growth in entrepreneurship in Africa,” he concludes.


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Daniel Muraga

Daniel Muraga is an experienced online writer and communications professional based in Kenya.

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